Do you feel depressed during the dark days of winter? One cause may be Vitamin D deficiency.
It's dark when we go out in the morning and dark when we get home... It’s maybe not so strange that many of us feel a bit empty and depressed? But it's not just the darkness that affects our psyche, the vitamin content in our body can also do that.
In SSN Health we often experience that during the winter months students often come in and complain of depression and dark thoughts without anything being really wrong with their lives. We often refer them to a GP to take a blood test, and in many cases it turns out that they have a Vitamin D deficiency. After some time on supplements, everything often feels brighter and better again. Several studies have shown that there may be a link between Vitamin D deficiency and depression, and here in the north we are particularly susceptible, since the dark autumn and winter provide us with little sunlight and thus a low natural production of Vitamin D in the body.
However, the researchers emphasise that a low level of Vitamin D in the body does not in itself lead to depression, but that it can be one of several causes.
The Norwegian health authorities recommend taking Vitamin D every day during the winter season for the sake of physical health. They say nothing about mental health, but perhaps it may be worth trying?
Tips for vitamin D-rich foods from MatPrat.no:
Eat at least 200 grams of oily fish a week, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, halibut or herring.
Have two glasses of vitamin D-enriched skim milk every day.
Eggs are a great supplement to your daily diet.
Include some butter or margarine in cooking and on bread. Choose soft margarine over hard margarine and butter for everyday use.